Riverhead, Kent

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Template:Infobox UK place Riverhead is a northern village part of the urban area of Sevenoaks in the district of the same name in Kent, England and is also a civil parish. The parish has a population of over 1821.<ref name=ons/>

The parish stretches from Chipstead Lake and the River Darent in the north through the hamlet of Dibden and A21 to Mill Bank Wood in the south.


The origin of the name of the village may lie in the Saxon word ‘rither’ meaning hill or deriving from the word meaning ‘cattle landing place’. Riverhead was an early settlement, part of the Codsheath Hundred. The settlement grew in size during Saxon times as traffic on the pilgrim routes between Canterbury and Winchester increased.<ref name=CAA>Template:Cite web</ref> The prosperity of the village during Georgian times is indicated by the high proportion of households that had to pay Hearth Tax on their properties, and although the village was of modest size, it was surrounded by several major country estates such as Chipstead Place, Bradbourne and Montreal.

Riverhead had a variety of country industries typical of the area, including a tannery, a timber yard, smithies and the posting house. The economy was based mainly on agriculture, along with some gravel and sand quarrying to the north east of the village that created the lakes around Bradbourne which are now a wildfowl reserve.<ref name=CAA/>

The village has a central conservation area that covers some 10.0 hectares and contains about 30 listed buildings. The listed properties in the Conservation Area date from the 17th and 18th Century and the older unlisted properties date mainly from the 19th Century.<ref name=CAA/>

The 1831-built C of E church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin; its architect was Decimus Burton. It is in the late Georgian lancet style, executed in characteristic local materials. The 1882 extension by Arthur William Blomfield shows how Victorian church design developed. The east window was installed in 1905 by Charles Eamer Kempe.


Every year there is the Village Fete and Carnival on the little common, surrounded by residential roads in the west of the village, held by the 3rd Sevenoaks scout group.

There are two pubs in Riverhead, The Bullfinch (McMullen & Sons) and The Riverhead (Harvester). The village also boasts an old fashioned sweet shop and milkshake bar located on London Road. The village has a butchers on The Square, Batchelors, a small family run business, providing its own spicy sausage from a South African recipe called 'Boerewors'.

Shops on the White Hart Parade and London Road include a couple of boutiques, a small art gallery, restaurants (such as a Malaysian restaurant, called Longhouse), a dry cleaners and educational suppliers. The parade gets its name from a pub that was once there. On London Road, there is also a power-tools, car and machinery hiring shop.

In the north of the village is Tesco and a range of other shops such as Bathstore, a tile store and Majestic Wine. There is also an Aston Martin and Jaguar dealership. The Barratt Lakeside Place estate, built on the former Marley Tiles site in the mid-1990s, sits pleasantly on the banks of Chipstead Lake.

Digital television has been available for aerials pointing east in Riverhead since 2006 from Blue Bell Hill for Kent & Sussex TV transmissions, which is also now broadcasting in HD.

Education and Sport

Riverhead contains Amherst Primary School and Riverhead Infants School. On Saturdays, there is Saturday morning football club at Amherst school, open to the students there. There is a nursery on the former site of Riveread Infants school until 2002 with the rest of the site now being residential. Holmesdale Cricket Club play in Riverhead at the top of Worship's Hill.

Behind the church is an area known as the sand pits, it is popular amongst the young people in Riverhead. The area adjoins a steep sandstone cliff.

The Riverhead parkland is part of the former Montreal Park (the remaining part is an estate of detached homes) and offers walks and children's recreation areas traversing the wealden greensand vale of the Darent Valley between Riverhead Infants School and Brittains Lane, Sevenoaks.


There is one representative on Kent County Council grouped under Sevenoaks Central, conservative John London first elected in 1997. There are two representatives on Sevenoaks District Council :

Election Member


style="background-color: Template:Conservative Party (UK)/meta/color" | 2011 Kim Bayley Dunton Green & Riverhead
style="background-color: Template:Conservative Party (UK)/meta/color" | 2011 Cameron Brown Dunton Green & Riverhead

There is also a parish council with nine members.

Nearest Settlements

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Riverhead is close to Sevenoaks railway station, only Template:Frac mile from the village centre and is served by four main bus routes during weekdays, all linking the village with Sevenoaks town and station, with about six buses an hour during the day. This includes the new 452 Sevenoaks/Ryewood service operated by Arriva Kent & Sussex. Buses from Riverhead also connect the village to Tunbridge Wells (402), Farnborough Princess Royal Hospital (402), Bromley (402), Bluewater (306), Otford (432), Borough Green (306) and Westerham (401). These bus services are provided by Arriva Kent & Sussex and Go Coach.



External links

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